Interim Executive Director, Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law

Interim Executive Director, Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law

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Posted Job Title
Interim Executive Director, Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law

Job Profile Title
Director D

Job Description Summary
The CERL Interim Executive Director will carry out all functions of the CERL Executive Director position while an Executive Director search is underway. The Executive Director responsibilities are as follows. 

CERL's Executive Director collaborates with CERL's Faculty Director to design and implement a long-term growth strategy to advance CERL's mission. Reporting to CERL's Faculty Director, the Executive Director also architects and implements a strategic series of events, conferences, publications, and policy papers designed to enhance CERL's role as a creator, convener, and conveyor of cutting-edge topics within its areas of expertise. The CERL Executive Director oversees day-to-day operations for the Center both substantively and administratively, managing and coordinating a team including a Director of Communications & Engagement, fellows, and students working in partnership with Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) staff. Additionally, the Executive Director directs CERL's Summer Internship Program. In addition, she or he will work with the CERL Faculty Director to assist fundraising efforts on behalf of the Center, as well as to design and help implement communications strategies to grow CERL's visibility and influence.

Job Description

Programming and Scholarship

  • Collaborate with the Faculty Director and Executive Board to develop and conceptualize conference topics, research agenda, and intellectual content of CERL's programs and publications.
  • Develop content and oversee implementation of CERL's programs and events, including conferences, symposia, workshops, and student events. In collaboration with the Faculty Director, develop speaker and guests lists; draft corresponding invitations and related documents, including funding proposals, topic summaries, and conference materials.
  • Coordinate with the Faculty Director to identify conference topics and event participants that fit with the ongoing volume series published by Oxford University Publishing. 
  • Write or commission policy briefing papers and blogs on topics relevant to CERL's mission, in consultation with CERL's Faculty Director.
  • Assist in the development of CERL initiatives to support military veterans and issues related to military veterans.
  • Conduct and oversee scholarly activity in preparation for CERL's programs and events and draft corresponding memoranda, as well as funding proposals and topic summaries.
  • Conduct and Direct CERL's Summer Internship and academic year Fellowship programs. Spearhead the identification, selection, and training of Summer Interns and Fellows. Participate in the design of CERL's seminar offerings and academic curricula.
  • Serve as the administrator for meetings with CERL's Executive Board and prepare materials for distribution to the Board in advance of such meetings. Assist the Faculty Director in cultivating relations with the CERL Executive Board and managing Board relations, as well as helping to cultivate new Board members. Seek out and encourage Board involvement in all CERL activities.

External Relations 

  • Lead CERL's growth and influence with an ambitious reputational campaign. Compose and publish original content to further CERL's visibility and raise awareness to its mission and activities, including developing content for the CERL website, blogging, engaging in social media outreach, and contributing to CERL's Annual and periodic reports. In cooperation with the Director of Communications & Engagement, develop a strategy for publicizing CERL research, events, and fellowships.
  • Represent CERL in contacting and arranging the participation of high-level academics, business people, military personnel, and lawyers from around the country and the globe. 
  • Facilitate the process of building bridges to faculty in other parts of the University, policymakers, and legal and industry professionals with interests related to CERL.
  • Working with the Director of Communications & Engagement, arrange faculty response and Executive Director response, as appropriate, to media inquiries and inquiries from academics, lawyers, executives, donors, and others.
  • Serve as the primary administrative liaison between CERL and APPC as well as between CERL and UPenn's colleges, centers and other agencies.
  • Serve on relevant APPC or University committees as appropriate.


  • Assist the Faculty Director in identifying donor prospects and developing budget-sustaining fundraising and other revenue-generating strategies for CERL.
  • Provide administrative and logistical support for all CERL efforts to move forward with approved solicitations of individual and corporate donors to the extent permitted by UPenn prospect management and solicitation policies. 
  • Develop substantive content for grant proposals and other materials for potential funders. Provide analytical support for funding applications to Foundations and Federal Agencies, working in collaboration with the CERL Director of Communications & Engagement and appropriate other UPenn agencies.
  • Represent CERL and its programs and research to funders and prospective funders. Identify and implement new ways to enhance CERL's relationships with existing funding sources.
  • Conduct all fundraising-related activities (strategizing/identification, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship) in keeping with university Development and Alumni Relations policies and best practices and in proactive coordination with the Annenberg School Office of Institutional Advancement.


  • Primary supervisor of CERL fellows, research assistants, clerical staff and interns as well as oversee the daily operations of the Director of Communications & Engagement. Ensure effective and efficient administration of CERL's activities by leading, managing and supporting the Director of Engagement, fellows, and student assistants. 
  • Manage the CERL Summer Internship Program. Responsible for designing, planning, scheduling, and supervising all aspects of the CERL Summer Internship program, including the recruitment and supervision of Interns. 

Position Length

This is a one year position from the date of appointment and is contingent on external funding. 


  • An extensive background in national security or military service.
  • A graduate degree in national security or at least ten years working in national security required.
  • Demonstrated ability to engage in writing for an academic audience; scholarly track record required.
  • Established record of successful support to fundraising efforts with at least two years of direct interaction with donors preferred. Direct fundraising experience valued.
  • At least three years' experience designing and implementing large public events and programs preferred, as well as a demonstrated ability to lead and cooperate in a team based environment.
  • Excellent organization and communication skills, both written and oral, as well as ability to coordinate multiple projects simultaneously in a timely manner.
  • Established track record as collaborator in the workplace, within the immediate department and within a larger institution.
  • Experience representing a sophisticated organization in a variety of public and internal forums.
  • Experience in planning and organizing virtual events and strong Zoom virtual environment and Microsoft Teams skills preferred.
  • Experience supervising graduate students on research projects is preferred. 
  • Experience negotiating, establishing and administering partnerships and co-sponsorships preferred.
  • Competence in the Microsoft Office environment and PennBox system preferred. 

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Annenberg School for Communication

Pay Range
$88,861.00 - $168,837.00

Affirmative Action Statement 
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements 
Background check may be required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

To apply, visit 

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